Editor’s Note: The AMI devotional from October 26 –November 1 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry Church.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
And I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” 6 Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time. 7 I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? 8 And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.
During my college days, I recall a friend’s willingness to drive sixty plus miles to pick up his friend who didn’t have a ride, so that they could go to a retreat together. But on the way to picking him up, he was hit by a car, causing serious injuries to his body. I remember, as a young believer, feeling such bitterness and confusion: How could God allow this? He was only trying to help. He was doing Kingdom work, wasn’t he?
Nehemiah clearly saw the sovereignty of God, and how God works for the good of those who love him. But this does not mean that we say a prayer and then sit idly by. If we are to truly experience God’s sovereignty, we need to ask the Lord for the next steps. Our attempts or deeds do not derail the plan of God as long as we are acting consistently with His will.
After going about his normal course of duties as a cupbearer, Nehemiah was ready to go to Jerusalem with the favor of the king. Amazingly, the king provided him with letters of safe passage and needed materials to use to reconstruct the wall around Jerusalem. Thus far, things had gone splendidly well for Nehemiah.
As he made his way back to his homeland, Nehemiah heard of the opposition of Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite to his project (verse 9). These men not only were suspicious of Nehemiah, they began to thwart the progress of the rebuilding of the walls.
But Nehemiah reminds us today that if we are to do God’s bidding in this fallen world, we will face opposition. We are broken and selfish people, not to mention how Satan hates it when we try to move with God in what He is doing in this world. When following Jesus, there is always a cost to serving Him.
If you are enduring some scorn and ridicule for following Christ, do not be discouraged. The temptation will be to change our message so that this scorn goes away. Nehemiah’s faith was greater than his fear—he believed in the promises of God. Let us remember that God is on the side of those who love Him and want to honor him.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for being my sovereign Father who knows everything about me. Strengthen me with faith in my inner being so that I may endure difficulties as I strive to serve You. Thank You for the sacrifice on the Cross. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Zechariah 1
Lunch Break Study
Read Proverbs 3:4-6
So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Questions to Consider
- How are we to find success before God and man?
- If we acknowledge God in the things we plan, what will God eventually do for us?
- In what way can you acknowledge the Lord in your life today?
- By trusting the Lord and not leaning on our own understanding.
- He will make our paths straight.
- Personal answer.
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein